Growing up, my mother always dispensed exceptional advice… that I never took. She would tell me which boys to avoid, what classes to take, and how dress for each and every occasion. Amongst her wise words and cautionary tales, the best piece of advice was; “enjoy and experience your youth.” (It’s the mom-approved version of “YOLO.”) In a rush to grow up, I resisted this notion until a couple of years ago, and I wish I had been less stubborn. But I’m not going to tell her that, I’m going to tell you; enjoy and experience being young.
Youth gives us unbridled opportunity, a grace period for trial-and-error, and the privilege to be a little selfish. Besides the added benefit of a wrinkle-free face, here are some reasons being young is a blessing!
I’m not (necessarily) talking about that kind of experimentation.
“To be old and wise, you must be young and stupid.” When we are young, we have to learn from our mistakes, over and over (and over) again. With no biological clock ticking, we can date the wrong guys, choose the wrong job, the wrong friends, the wrong exit, and still have time to fix our mistakes and learn invaluable lessons. Ultimately, we can change our minds and major until we “get it right.”
Notice this; you’ve never heard someone say, “Man, I wish I had never traveled the world and learned about other cultures.” And it’s not a coincidence. When we’re ripe, we are impressionable and typically more open-minded. Why not utilize that, and do as the Romans do.
I have been privileged enough to experience the beauty of Europe and culture of South America. And while, I doubt I will be applying for dual citizenship, I have a priceless appreciation for other cultures as well as my own. Plus, any excuse to eat new cuisine and shop… is a good excuse.
3. Free thinking
Along with bad antiques, costume jewelry and a timeshare in Florida, we can sometimes inherit past generations’ ways of thinking. Fortunately, things are a little different, and the ongoing progression of civil rights has allowed us and encouraged us to think past our grandparents’ dated ideals, and form our own opinions of the world. I can’t imagine living in the ignorance of yesterday, but I am happy and most of all hopeful, that the new generation can come together and make a better tomorrow for everyone. We have the freedom of changing the world and the way people see it.
4.Being (a little) selfish
Whether we like to admit it or not, being young gives us the luxury to be selfish. My decision on where I take a job, take a vacation or to even take out the trash solely affects me. With no parents to please, no children to take care of, no husband to tend to, the only permission I seek, the only approval I need, is my own. Though amazing and liberating, it has an expiration date, and I intend on milking it (read: buying tickets to the “Made In America” concert, and planning a spontaneous trip to Philly because I deserve it) for all its worth.
With little responsibility, there’s endless possibilies.